Daily Media Summary Dec. 4, 2013

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia



 Today’s dominant story captured from the local dailies is the assurance of Madam Johnson Sirleaf to the Liberian people and the world that her government remains constantly transparent  and has absolutely nothing to hide amongst other stories.  


 Dominant Story

“We Have Nothing To Hide’-Ellen Explains Why Gag Was Imposed


A back page story of the News newspaper asserts that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says her administration has done nothing for which it is ashamed. She said government has absolutely nothing to hide and assured the Liberian people that if would consistently remain transparent. She said her government has been the victims of a warped and criminal mind who, to divert attention from her crime, has rendered evil for good. The Liberian leader indicated that government decided to lift the gag restriction not because it was in the wrong, but that her administration noticed that certain national security information about the Roberts International Airport (RIA) was grossly distorted and leaked to the media. She asserted that the security information was ostensibly intended to influence political discontent in the country and distract from the actual criminal charges and allegations of the violation of the public trust which are the subjects of her government indictment against Ellen Corkrum and her boyfriend Melvin Johnson.  


Related Caption:  We’re Not Ashamed - President Declares (New Democrat)   

Other Stories


Taylor Gets Celebrity Treatment


Amidst claims by his wife that he was being mistreated among common British prisoners, former Liberian President Charles Taylor will be treated as a celebrity while serving his 50-year sentence at HMP Frankland on the outskirts of  Durbam City. Former prisoner termed newspaper prison correspondent Eric Allison said: “He will be on what they call normal location and will wear yellow patches to signify he is an escape risk or category A. HMP Frankland is probably about the most security-conscious prison in the country. He will be in a single cell and will have a fair bit of association with other prisoners. Whereas in a normal prison Category A Prisoners are kept in a separate unit, at Frankland they are kept with the main population, the New Democrat newspaper reports.


President Leads Protest Against Rape


Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and thousands of citizens marched through the main streets of Monrovia Monday to denounce rape which has remained a problem in Liberia since the civil war ended 10 years ago.  President Sirleaf   dressed in a purple suit, told journalists that she and others were “marching for a purpose, to stop violence against women. We are marching for a cause, the NewDemocrat newspaper writes.


Lawlessness Creeps Upon State’


President Ellen Jonson Sirleaf says seeking support from Liberia’s development partners to rebuild the country, expanding the economy creating jobs and strengthening peace prompted her to direct the Justice Ministry and the Joint Security Task Force to take the necessary actions, in keeping with law, to stop the wave of lawlessness creeping upon the State.  “Together, we are trying to become a free, prosperous, just, open, secure and democratic society, the New Democrat newspaper says.


Evil For Good –Pres. Sirleaf Says Of Ellen Corkrum


The Liberian Government appears to be squeezed in a tight corner, with limited options over the halting of further publications of secret recordings of its senior officials by the fugitive former Managing Director of the Roberts International Airport or RIA, Ms. Ellen Corkrum. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf commenting on the recordings said Corkurm has rendered evil for good. Defraud the state and stifle much needed development there. Ms. Corkrum and boyfriend Johnson have released several  secret recordings or several government officials in relations to the charges brought against them in an attempt to avoid trail, while describing the Liberian government as a “Mobster oriented government “ Ms. Corkrum released her first recording at the early stages of the second quarter of this year,  the New Dawn newspaper asserts.


Uncertainty At UL-Dr. Emmet Dennis Meets With Board Of Trustees


Authorities of the state-owned University of Liberia or UL are uncertain over the resumption of normal academic programs following the recent closure as the UL President Dr. Emmett Dennis and the Board of Trustees are said to be lock in a meeting that is expected to address a lot of issues besetting the institution. The administration was compelled to shutdown the university last month amidst series of violent protests by students and disruption of normal activities on campus in demand of the resignation of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Wade Elliotte Brownell. On the other hand, the University of Liberia Faculty Association had abandoned classes to compel administrative decision on a wide range of demands, including Dr. Brownell’s immediate resignation, the New Dawn newspaper.


Freeze On Civil Servant Positions-For Six Months


President Ellen Johnson –Sirleaf has directed the Civil Service Agency (CSA) to place a hiring freeze on all civil servants positions with immediate effect. A release from CSA under the signature of Director General George K. Werner, the hiring freeze will last for six months. Mr. Werner is quoted as saying due to Liberia’s needs for teachers and healthcare workers, the Ministries of Education and Health are exempted from the hiring freeze. The Civil Service Agency is conducting a thorough analysis of the pay structure, job classification, and job description that will inform a revised pay strategy to be implemented next year,” the release said. The result of this analysis, the CSA indicated, will be inaccurate if the payroll fluctuates. CSA further stressed that it will no longer accept Personnel Action Notices (PANs) from government institutions included in the directive from the President.  Story from the back page of The News newspaper


US$3.3M Water Facility Project Launched


A US$3.3million water facility project funded by European Union (EU) has been launched. The project which runs from January 2014-January 2017, targets four slump communities. Under the project, EU will contribute US$2.5 million, while the remaining fund will come from other sources. The project will ensure that 50,000 persons have access to improved sanitation facilities and hygiene messages as well as 250,000 persons to benefit from improved solid waste management and drainage. Speaking Tuesday in West Point at the official launch of the project, European Union Executive Director Piere Amilhat urged implementing institutions to ensure that the project benefits resident s in the targeted communities.  Story from the back page of The News newspaper


Liberia’s Peace Envoy Descends On ‘Rapists’


Liberia’s Peace Ambassador, George M. Weah, has descended on ‘rapists’, saying they must be prosecuted in accordance with the laws of the country. Amb. Weah, who described rape as a crime of violence, maintained that anyone who is found guilty of rape must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law so as to serve as deterrence for others who may want engage such a wicked act. He stated that it is the responsibility of every Liberian, including the government to collectively work together to lower incidents of rape against young girls, boys and women.  His statement was contained in an anti-rape campaign message released in commemoration of the 16-days of Activism against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), The News newspaper writes.